Yesterday morning I had the good fortune to catch a little bit of Chris Hayes’ excellent MSNBC show, Up With Chris. During the segment I saw Tom Colicchio (of Top Chef fame), was on to promote his new film that advocates healthier food choices in schools as a public health initiative. Their exchange focused on issues such as the financial economics of being a foodie, the infrastructure, staffing, and budgetary constraints that push schools to offer less healthy convenience options, and the prevailing sense that people don’t really know what they should be eating anymore.
This last point resonated with me, since I too have recently awoken to the facts and realities of healthy eating. As a long-time high school and college athlete, I grew accustomed to carbo-loading and essentially eating whatever I wanted. Bulk was an asset, and food was viewed by coaches and players as a necessary fuel for weight lifting sessions and two-a-day practices. After the end of my collegiate career, however, my eating habits stayed largely the same. I knew intuitively that this was probably a bad idea, but after five years of eating omelettes or muffins for breakfast, pizza for lunch, and burgers for dinner, it was time to come to terms with the result of these continued eating habits and lower rates (and intensity) of workouts: elevated blood pressure and sitting at the same weight as in college but with drastically different muscle composition. That’s not good. So I added a doctor-mandated nutrition app to my smartphone and my world has been shattered.